The 1st Question - 5 Dec 2010 - Questions

1) It's 1934 and Clarence Hickman, a Bell Labs engineer, has a secret machine in his office. A device without equal in the world, incredibly ahead of its time. If you call him and there’s no answer, Hickman’s invention was a machine that beeped attached to a recording device so the caller could leave a message! It’s real genius though lay in the tech principle for storing sound, which previously involved pressing a record button. His invention so threatened AT & T, which believed his answering machine’s underlying tech would lead people to abandon the telephone, that they suppressed, actively discouraged and concealed this research for over 60 years. Eventually this would come to America via imports of foreign technology, mainly German. And revolutionize recording, audio and later video. On what breakthrough tech was Clarence Hickman's answering machine based in 1934?

2) It’s getting to Christmas, what are you going to get that special someone? You want something unique, and you named a star for me last year, so what to do? This company will spit out, for your naming pleasure, an Automated Theorem. Proving to be a well-respected mathematical field, from its library of mathematical knowledge, this program generates a set of axioms, then combines them to produce conjectures. The library discards those proven untrue, and then applies a technique known as "rippling". Rippling tries out various sequences of logical statements until one of these turns out to be an actual proof. If you can generate novel theorems you can name them, so for a fee you can bring the Hydra Theorem, for example, or possibly The Shaftoe Paradigm to the world. From which company is this possible?

3) You would have to smoke the master bedroom for it to have any effect on your mental state, but this new house built entirely of hemp is revolutionary in advancing a green state of mind. Let me tell you about Hemcrete – a mix of industrial hemp, lime and water. Push Design, which built the first building in the US made entirely of hemp, found the most effective, sustainable and energy efficient toxin-free building material …. And yes, its hemp. In every way but cost, hemp is the most effective and sustainable material in the world. (Hemp has to be imported from overseas such is the ridiculous ban on its growth in the US) The qualities it offers are beyond anything else in energy efficiency. It’s able to pull carbon from the atmosphere, has the strength for a 6 – 800-year wall lifespan, plus breathability and indoor air quality that is unsurpassed. This is a job for HEMP MAN!!!!! Hemp use dates back 7,000 years with hemp fiber imprints found in pottery shards from which countries originally?

4) You have a large open wound which is a haven for bacteria – wouldn't it be great if you could just spray something over it to help the healing begin? Well you can. A stem cell spray derived from a patient's blood can be used to heal burns that are resistant to other treatments, in a pilot project going on in the world of regenerative medicine. Taking about 15 minutes, with a bedside treatment – a patients red cells are combined with progenitor cells, calcium and thrombin. The final mixture looks almost like Jell-O. This can be used as a spray on skin graft. At which university's burn center is this remarkable project actually working?

5) The 6th sense of Pranav Mistry showed us you didn’t need a computer screen to find the internet, but what if you still need to sit at a desk to get those Pavlovian juices flowing. In other words, " I sit therefore I work.” Researchers from Aachen University's Media Computing Group have created a computer workstation where the desk and screen are transformed into one multi-touch display. The display is curved at the middle and uses infrared emitters and cameras to track user movement over the whole of the surface. The user interface presented over the whole of the multi-touch surface even means no keyboard. What is the name of this new workstation environment that supports interaction with digital documents while still respecting the 20th century, your posterior was born into?

---tie breaker---

6) It is a bio-adaptive hand prosthesis which does more than just replicate the physical functionality of a real human hand. It also uses a unique technology to provide the user with a measure of sensation containing forty sensors that are activated when pressed on by an object. These sensors are connected to the patients’ remaining nerves in the upper arm, and the stimulus can be interpreted by the brain as coming from the device. The first amputee to try the hand, a young Swedish man has said “When I grab something hard, then I can feel it in the fingertips, which is strange, as I don't have those anymore.” What is this new bionic hand called?

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